The poll — which ran on LGB charity Stonewall’s Facebook and Twitter pages and received almost 700 votes — put the Group on 31 per cent, which was ahead of other highly-rated brands including Absolut (25.6 per cent), IKEA (20.4 per cent) and Lloyds TSB (14.2 per cent).
Examples of each company’s LGB-inclusive advertising campaigns can be found at the charity’s website, www.stonewall.org.uk/evidence.
Gill Barr, the Co-operative Group’s Marketing Director, commented: “We are delighted to have topped this poll, which underlines the Co-operative’s position as a leader in the field of marketing to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. The Group works closely with Stonewall and is the only retailer in their Top 100 employers index. We have a dedicated diversity team within the business; we sponsor numerous Pride events up and down the country and the Group operates a successful LGB network.”
Added Ms Barr: “The business is firmly committed to serving the LGB consumer base and, in line with our values and principles, to ensuring all staff are treated fairly, irrespective of any individual differences, including sexual orientation.”
The Group has run a series of campaigns aimed specifically at LGB consumers. In 2005, Co-operative Funeralcare partnered Pink Partings to offer LGB people judgement-free support when they need it most. In 2009 and 2010, The Co-operative sponsored Manchester Pride and promoted this through a radio advertising campaign.
Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Laura Doughty said: “As the British pink pound is worth approximately £81million, gay and ethical consumers are now a significant market. Companies should follow the Co-operative’s good example, specially when they think about all those gay consumers who may shun their local Asda or Morrisons for their weekly shop — preferring to use the Co-op instead.”